Soriano in Right?

Bruce Miles points out this little tidbit which seems to mesh with what Lou apparently said on the radio last night that Soriano would be a corner outfielder.
Most reports had the Cubs looking at Soriano as a center fielder, but sources said Sunday that the Cubs will put Soriano in right. That means Jacque Jones (whose injured left shoulder prevented him from throwing well in 2006) will go from right to center with the Cubs, if they donít trade Jones, hoping for the best.
I mentioned in the comments yesterday that I would be surprised but certainly not shocked if the Cubs still ended up signing J.D. Drew or Julio Lugo to play center field and if Jacque Jones becomes the expendable outfielder over Matt Murton, let's say I shall be pleased. I guess the assumption was always that Murton was going to be shown the door or the bench but Jones suddenly has an extremely cheap contract for a guy with a decent lefty bat, who can go get them in the outfield and could be a valuable trading chip for a team trying to compete in the now. It's just some speculation at the moment, but it could be an interesting twist. I'll weigh in some more on this whole adventure once the contract details are clear. It's seems to waiver between 6/90 with option years for the 7th and 8th or a straight 8/136 and there's supposedly a full no-trade clause for the first five years (until Soriano becomes a 10/5 man and the no-trade becomes automatic) as well.
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Comments

I am going to dare to dream.....Carl Crawford is coming to play CF.

Someone spiked my Kool-aid, I can't help it.

Can we swing Carl Crawford for Matt Murton? (Prospects and what ever also).

Jones Crawford and Soriano would be a mighty nice outfield. That would mean @120 homers from the corner positions and a leadoff hitter in Crawford. I don't know much about DeRosa's glove but I do know about Izturis'. That would be a damn fine team.

DRays want an ace pitcher or two, not another OF'er. Do you think we have an ace pitcher we can afford to give up? Me neither...

I was scared to death the Cubs were going to do the Cub-like thing and sign Adam Dunn or some other shipwreck. I'll take AS. Now throw in some pitchers, then make my Kool Aid a double.

Carl Crawford is better with RISP than Soriano. So I would have Soriano hit first followed by Crawford.

Interesting note is the experts are saying that the Soriano deal almost certainly makes it impossible for Toronto to sign Vernon Wells. Wells is younger, hits just as well, plus plays gold glove defense. His market just started at 17 million per year now.

That is certainly out of the Cubs price range, but Crawford isn't. I need to e-mail Lou Piniella to tell him to tell Hendry to get Crawford.

Reported on ESPN News at 1 p.m. - - The Cubs could officially announce the Soriano deal as early as this afternoon.

Oh, and the other thing that was stated was that the Orioles have jumped into the Carlos Lee auction and that the Astros may be losing their position on the inside rail.

I got a kick out of these Nazi rules over at View From the Bleachers...

I. Thou Shall Not Use Profanity

II. Thou Shall Not personally attack other commenters

III. Thou Shall Not bait other commenters

IV. Thou Shall Not argue for the sake of arguing

V. Thou Shall Not discuss politics

VI. Thou Shall Not use hyperbole when something less will suffice

VII. Thou Shall Not use sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively

VIII. Thou Shall Not make the same point over and over again

IX. Thou Shall Not type "no-hitter" to describe any no-hitter in progress

X. Thou Shall Not be annoyed by the existence of this list

Group think, all the cool Cubs blogs are doing it!

I like this Gammons quote:

"The game is always healthier when the Cubs are good, and in a week they have made themselves a whole lot better."

The Cubs are a whole lot better, but the only thing that makes me nervous is that our only lefty with any pop is Jacque Jones. I don't really want to trade him and some other combination of folks for another right hander.

It'll be an experience for him out in center, but we can't run seven righties and the switch-hitting Izturis out there every day, either.

#9 Nohit -- Gammons can't be right. Buster Olney said that the Cubs are no closer to being a WS contender now with Soriano than they were before. Oh wait, Olney's an idiot. I'll stick with Gammons.

I think Jacque Jones has the speed, range, and ballhawk skills to play CF. It's just that his throwing arm makes him better-suited to play LF. But other than his arm, I think Jones is a VERY good defensive outfielder. I thought Jones did a really nice job last year playing what is the most-difficult RF (wind, sun, and bullpen mound) in MLB. Again, except for his throws. But he should be fine in CF as far as catching the ball is concerned, and his arm can't be too much worse than Pierre's rag-arm.

Soriano has a plus-arm and certainly throws a lot better than Jones, but playing RF at Wrigley Field isn't for outfield neophytes. I only hope Soriano doesn't get hit on the head with a pop up lost in the sun or doesn't tear his knee up tripping over the bullpen mound trying to catch a foul ball.

BTW, one more thing about Jacque Jones...

He really improved his splits versus LHP and RHP as the 2006 season wore on. By the end of the year, Jones had about 75% of his PAs against RHP, and about 25% against LHP.

VS RHP:
431 PA
303/358/528
21 HR
59 RBI
24 2B
1 3B
33 BB
84 K

VS LHP
(NOTE: VS LHP PRORATED TO SAME NUMBER OF PA AS VS RHP PAs IN PARENTHESIS)
142 PA (426)
234/261/416
6 HR (18 HR)
22 RBI (66 RBI)
7 2B (21 2B)
0 3B
2 BB (6 BB)
33 K (99 K)

So Jones really put up almost the same number of home runs and doubles per PA hitting against LHP as he did hitting against RHP. The big difference was that he while he didn't walk much against RHP, he almost never took a walk against lefties, he struck out a little bit more per PA versus lefties (but not a whole lot more), and his batting average was about 70 points lower against LHP than it was against RHP (.234 versus LHP as opposed to .303 versus RHP). But the bottom line is, Jones was not totally useless hitting against LHP. His XBH per PA were just about the same whether he was hitting versus RHP or LHP.

we'd have 10 comments a day if we followed those rules... :)

poor Manny would be reduced to one comment a day if he followed VIII (along with half the other commenters)

I think the "lefty bat" thing is very over rated.

Just get me guys that can hit -- Jeromy Burntiz was a lefty bat. So was Todd Hollandsworth. I'd rather have D-Lee or A-Ram up at the plate against a righty pitcher than most lefty bats out there.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6191380

Pierre close to signing with Dodgers, rather amusing they'll have Furcal/Pierre at the top of the lineup like we were supposed to last year.

Ryan Howard won the MVP and the writers were doing so well....

Pujols

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

Howard

Morons dig the longball.

Rob G.: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6191380

Pierre close to signing with Dodgers, rather amusing they'll have Furcal/Pierre at the top of the lineup like we were supposed to last year.
--

Not to mention Maddux in the rotation (most likely). If they win, is that vindication or condemnation for Jim Hendry?

Even if you like conventional stats, he had 13 more RBI's but 15 less runs scored and of course 9 more homers in a homer happy park. Throw in their defense at the same position and it's not even close.

If your more open-minded to newer stats like me, he's about 5th or 4th on my ballot.

My top 5 would have been:
Pujols
Beltran
Berkman
Cabrera
Howard

I'm sorry to be the fly in the ointment, but wow am I unhappy about the Soriano signing. It's this kind of deal that will cripple a club's ability to sign contracts in the future. I mean, we're close to the A-Rod $ amount for a player worth pennies to A-Rod's dollar (A-Rod career OBP/SLG: .386/.573; Soriano: .325/.510) without the advantage of A-Rod's very good SS defense- and yet Texas was supposedly hobbled by the A-Rod signing! The Cubs won 66 games last year. In order to be contenders they'd need to pick up, what, 30 wins? Sure, DLee for a full season gives maybe 8 more wins (avg 2004 & 2005); Soriano maybe 7 wins (avg 2004-06); 2005 form Prior would add 5 wins. Even if ALL THREE perform at solid, injury-free levels and everybody else contributes at 2006 levels (unlikely for Aramis and Barrett, among others), the Cubs are now a .530, 86-win team. Yay! And that's now when all of those guys are in their prime. It gets really bleak looking down the road because there's not much of a minor league system to re-infuse this lineup or rotation in 2007, 2008, etc.

AZ Phil (or anyone else that can answer my Type A/B free agent question):

How many more "Type A" free agents can the Cubs sign this offseason? I've read comments at The Chicago National League Ballclub that indicate the Cubs can only sign 2 "Type A" and 3 "Type B" free agents this offseason, and have already signed one of each (Soriano and DeRosa). This means they wouldn't be able to sign J.D. Drew AND a Type A free agent pitcher (Schmidt, Zito, Clemens, Pettite, or Mussina). They would have to choose signing either Drew OR one of those pitchers.

I bring this up because it would invalidate this ridiculous rumor.

One more thing: if anyone has a link to a page with the new rules about free agent signings (how many of each type a team can sign and what the compensation is) i'd really appreciate it.

Thanks!

Bubba, did signing Carlos Beltran hurt the Mets?

Not until the very end of last season.

Just kidding.

hey Shawn,

The new CBA rules regarding draft pick compensation do not go into effect until NEXT off-season.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/ne...

Maybe BA is wrong, but I doubt it BECAUSE they are still ranking free agents as Type A, B and C and the C rankings go away with the new CBA.

As for how many they can sign, I had this up on my old blog:

If there are 14 or less type A and B players available, no team may sign more than 1 type A or B player. If there are 15-38 available A and B players, no team may sign more than 2. From 39-62 this becomes 3. The club quota increases accordingly for higher totals of available free agents. There is no maximum allowed for type C free agents. Lastly, a team can sign up to as many type A and B free agents as they've lost, regardless of the above quota.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2006-...

If someone cares to count how many FA's are available that are ranked as A & B, go for it. You'd have to cross-check the Elias list with the list of free agents and I have no idea if Aramis count against that (I doubt he does).

The Cubs are going to lose Pierre though, which should get them one back. Floyd is a Type A by the way as well.

Let's give Jimbo a little credit here and assume he knows how many he can actually sign.

#14 of 23: By billybucks (November 20, 2006 02:50 PM)
I think the "lefty bat" thing is very over rated.

Just get me guys that can hit -- Jeromy Burntiz was a lefty bat. So was Todd Hollandsworth. I'd rather have D-Lee or A-Ram up at the plate against a righty pitcher than most lefty bats out there.
____________

Right. However, Burnitz and Holly were shitty. Jacque Jones is not Burnitz or Holly shitty.

Without a good lefty in the lineup, you won't ever see a left hander to crush. A-Ram, D-Lee and Barrett all make serious hay off southpaws. Without any lefties in the lineup, why would any team even attempt to throw a lefty against the Cubs?

I'd rather have Aramis or D-Lee hit in that situation, too. Although it's a damn shame they can't hit in all 9 places in the order. I'd rather have Jacque Jones hitting in the six hole against a right hander than I would say... Julio Lugo, Grady Sizemore, or probably anybody that's been tossed around. You're missing the point altogether.

come on Wes, a rotation goes every 5 days, there isn't much to change that. No team is going to take out one of their starters just because the Cubs are righty heavy.

When it comes to the bullpen sure, but it will have almost no effect on who will be the starting pitcher that day.

They'll be a lefty or two in the lineup before it's all said or done anyway.

Right now...

Soriano
Lee
Barrett
Ramirez
Jones
Murton
Derosa
Izturis

only one to two weak spots in the lineup right now and neither Derosa or Izturis (debatedly) are complete trash.

Bubba-

Texas signed Arod to put asses in the seats in Arlington.

The Cubs not only have the money, but it keeps coming in and somehow the geniuses at the Trib will figure out how to get even more.

Hicks is a moron.

Hope that was a mispprint on the Sizemore comment.
If not, you are completely delusional sir....

Wes-

So, if the Mets are up a run, they won't bring in Wagner? I'm OK with that.

I think the move and money they gave to sign Soriano, Was a move they needed to make. Well done Hendry. Now I think the Cubs need a Left handed Bat with power in the outfield. If this does come to past, Jones would be a good back-up and bench player. Murton should not be traded, a run at Center may be the spot for him or right field. Now we need Pitching, if the Cubs still have money, pay up and sign Zito. When was the last time the Cubs had a true lefty in the starting line-up, 1984-85 with Sutcliff.

"When was the last time the Cubs had a true lefty in the starting line-up, 1984-85 with Sutcliff."

Sut was not left handed. But Steve Trout was.

Rob,

The change in classification doesn't go into effect this year, but the change in compensation does. The question is whether or not there was also a change in the allowed number of each type of free agent.

Baseball America has a list in one of Jim Caple's Q&A's with a list of the Type A and Type B free agents (Type C are no longer relavent with the new compensation rules). According to this list, there wre 47 Type A free agents (including Ramirez) and 46 Type B free agents (including Juan Pierre).

The question is twofold: do the old rules still apply, and are Type A and Type B agents lumped together in the rules?

If Type A and B are lumped together, and the bin size progression as the number of free agents increases, the 93 combined Type A/B free agents would allow the Cubs to sign 5 combined Type A/B free agents. The bin sizes would be 0-14 for 1 FA; 15-38 for 2 FA; 39-62 for 3 FA; 63-86 for 4 FA; and 86-110 for 5 FA). The Cubs have signed 3, if re-signing Ramirez counts towards the quota.

If Type A and B are NOT lumped together, and the numbers you put up there are still correct, then the Cubs could sign 3 Type A AND 3 Type B free agents.

However, i doubt those number are correct. Everywhere i've seen citation of this rule it says the Cubs can only sign 4 Type A/Type B free agents. I've never seen it where the Cubs could sign 5 or 6...

By the way, i do assume that Hendry knows how many free agents of each type he can sign. What i don't trust is that the rumors flying around are in accord with those rules.

According to this list, there wre 47 Type A free agents (including Ramirez)

But isn't it true that Ramirez was never technically a free agent? I believe the deal he signed was inked just before midnight on the 11th.

Chad-
Are you seriously comparing Carlos Beltran to Alfonso Soriano?

Tale of the tape:
Beltran career OBA/SLG: .355/.492
Soriano career OBA/SLG: .325/.510
Beltran age at contract signing: 27
Soriano age at contract signing: 30

Throw in the fact that Beltran plays a better defense at a more pivotal defensive position AND the fact that the Mets' payroll will always be higher than the Cubs, and I'm not sure how you can defend this signing based on the Mets' signing of Beltran. To be honest, I don't know (and don't care to look up) Beltran's Mets contract, but Soriano's contract will be for MORE money despite what I wrote. According to ESPN, Beltran made $13.5MM last year- or about $3.5MM LESS than Soriano will make on average for his contract.

The change in classification doesn't go into effect this year, but the change in compensation does. The question is whether or not there was also a change in the allowed number of each type of free agent.

I'm confused Shawn, the link you posted is the same link I gave you and says:

These changes will take effect next offseason, allowing clubs which lose free agents this winter the same compensation they had always expected.

I did miss the part where Type C classification is eliminated immediately, my bad. Elias rankings must have just ignored that for now. BUt at least by that BA article, compensation stays the same and A & B classification stays the same for this year.

Are you citing something else?

Beltran's making $17 mil a year although it's probably broken down or backloaded, but the average is $17 mil a year 7/119 which sounds like the same Soriano will make annually, just for one more season.

Look at the 1984 Cubs. One lefty in the lineup (Durham) & a switch hitter that really sucked (Bowa). They had no trouble scoring runs all year.

Jacos-
The A-Rod signing was widely panned as a bad signing, and I'm not arguing that point. My issue is that this Soriano signing is for about 70% of the yearly cost of the obnoxious A-Rod signing, and there's no way Soriano is even 30% as valuable as A-Rod was the day that deal was signed (remember, he was *24* and a very good SS on top of excellent hitting stats). So if you think Hicks was an idiot for making THAT deal, how can you justify this deal??

And I'm not sure about all these references to drinking Kool-Aid. The poisoned Kool-Aid was administered as a way of killing off the Jamestown cult-members before government agents moved in. So maybe I am arguing that Soriano's signing *is* a form of suicidal Kool-Aid after all!

Im in now...awesome! alfonso is speaking

MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR JIM HENDRY

Cubs Vice President and General Manager Jim Hendry will be available via a conference call today at 3 p.m. CST. Media interested in participating in the call can dial 866-285-7778, and use access code 5811531.

My original point is that the Cubs shouldn't trade Jacque Jones for a right handed bat. It's not about other teams skipping starters. You cannot go into opening day without a left hander with some power on the roster. You will not win.

Four big time right handed power bats are great. I'm not trying to say that isn't the case. What I am saying is that without a lefty to protect them, it won't work.

Yes I am seriously comparing the two. I'm not saying that Soriano is better, I'm saying they will give you SIMILAR results.

Soriano out homers Beltran and lately out steal Beltran. Overall, I'd rather have Beltran. But you now what? He wasn't available so we go someone similar.

Needless to say, it didn't handicap the Mets and it won't handicap us.

The only argument you make that holds water is the idea of total payroll. If the Mets intend on having a higher payroll then the Cubs by tens of millions of dollars each year then maybe you have a point but it doesn't look that way if we intend to spend 125 mil per.

My original point is that the Cubs shouldn't trade Jacque Jones for a right handed bat.

I don't really think that's an issue. If Jones is dealt, it'll either be for a lefthanded OF or for a pitcher, in which case, the Cubs can sign a lefthanded OF FA. Hendry has clearly stated he's looking for some lefthanded hitters to go into the lineup.

Per Rotoworld:

Cubs purchased the contracts of LHP Clay Rapada and RHP Rocky Cherry.

A couple of relief prospects. Rapada has the better chance of the two of establishing himself in the majors. He gets grounders and he finished with a 17/3 K/BB ratio in 14 2/3 innings in the Arizoan Fall League.

Interesting. I think it's becoming very clear that Howry/Eyre/Ohman/Jacque/Murton are going to be gone soon. Howry could be a very valuable trading chip.

Throw in the fact that Beltran plays a better defense at a more pivotal defensive position

Better defense, yes, but if Soriano plays CF, they're playing the same position.

The A-Rod signing was widely panned as a bad signing, and I'm not arguing that point. My issue is that this Soriano signing is for about 70% of the yearly cost of the obnoxious A-Rod signing, and there's no way Soriano is even 30% as valuable as A-Rod was the day that deal was signed (remember, he was *24* and a very good SS on top of excellent hitting stats). So if you think Hicks was an idiot for making THAT deal, how can you justify this deal??

1) Salaries have increased ~10% per year, so six years ago the ARod contract was proportionately even bigger.

2) Texas has less revenue and a smaller potential budget than the Cubs

3) It's generally believed that Texas outbid the next highest suitor by $50 million, while the Cubs just squeaked ahead of the Angels.

#21 of 21: By shawndgoldman (November 20, 2006 03:32 PM)
AZ Phil (or anyone else that can answer my Type A/B free agent question):

How many more "Type A" free agents can the Cubs sign this offseason? I've read comments at The Chicago National League Ballclub that indicate the Cubs can only sign 2 "Type A" and 3 "Type B" free agents this offseason, and have already signed one of each (Soriano and DeRosa). This means they wouldn't be able to sign J.D. Drew AND a Type A free agent pitcher (Schmidt, Zito, Clemens, Pettite, or Mussina). They would have to choose signing either Drew OR one of those pitchers.

=========================================

SHAWN G: I don't know how this will work in the new CBA, but in the old CBA that expires on December 19th, it goes like this:

There is a limit on the number of Type "A" or Type "B" free-agents that each MLB club can sign, based upon how many Type "A" and Type "B" free-agents file in a given year:

14 or fewer Type A" or "B" FA: no more than one Type "A" or Type "B" FA per club;

15-38 Type "A" or Type "B" FA: no more than two Type "A" or Type "B" FA per club;

39-62 Type "A" or Type "B" FA: no more than three Type "A" or Type "B" FA per club;

63-86 Type "A" or Type "B" FA: no more than four Type "A" or Type "B" FA per club;

87-110 Type "A" or Type "B" FA: no more than five Type "A" or Type "B" FA per club

However, regardless of how many Type "A" and Type"B" free-agents file in a given year, a club can sign as many Type "A" or Type "B" free-agents as it loses to free-agency.

All MLB players (even those who are not eligible to be free-agents) are statistically ranked as Type "A," Type "B," Type "C," or "unranked" after each season by the Elias Sports Bureau, and the ranking covers a period going back two seasons.

This year, there are approximately 95 MLB free-agents who are ranked as either Type "A" or Type "B," so each MLB club can sign up to five Type "A" or Type "B" free-agents (a club re-signing its own Type "A" or Type "B" FA doesn't count against the number), unless it lost more than five Type "A" or Type "B" players to free-agency.

At present, the Cubs have signed two (Soriano is a Type "A" and DeRosa is a Type "B"), so the Cubs can sign no more than three more Type "A" or Type "B" free-agents.

From these lists:

TYPE "A FREE-AGENTS
Carlos Lee, OF
Gary Matthews Jr, OF
Sean Casey, 1B
Kevin Millar, 1B
Frank Catalanotto, OF
Barry Zito, SP
Mike Mussina, SP
Mark Loretta, 2B
Justin Speier, RP
Mike Timlin, RP
Dustin Hermanson, RP
David Riske, RP
Moises Alou, OF
J. D. Drew, OF
Alfonso Soriano, OF
Luis Gonzalez, OF
Jim Edmonds, OF
Cliff Floyd, OF
Aubrey Huff, 3B
Barry Bonds, OF
David Dellucci, OF
Dave Roberts, OF
Mike Piazza, C
Mike Lieberthal, C
Ray Durham, 2B
Aramis Ramirez, 3B
Ronnie Belliard, 2B
Rich Aurilia, INF
Todd Walker, INF
Julio Lugo, INF
Tony Graffanino, INF
Andy Pettitte, SP
Jason Schmidt, SP
Tom Glavine, SP
Jeff Suppan, SP
Greg Maddux, SP
Roger Clemens, SP
Jamie Moyer, SP
Woody Williams, SP
David Weathers, RP
Danys Baez, RP
Roberto Hernandez, RP
Eric Gagne, RP
Joe Borowski, RP
Aaron Fultz, RP
Eddie Guardado, RP
Russ Springer, RP
Rudy Seanez, RP
Chad Bradford, RP

TYPE "B" FREE-AGENTS
Frank Thomas, 1B
Trot Nixon, OF
Mark DeRosa, IF-OF
Gregg Zaun, C
Rod Barajas, C
Alex Gonzalez, SS
Adam Kennedy, 2B
Ted Lilly, SP
Gil Meche, SP
Vicente Padilla, SP
Ron Villone, RP
Jamie Walker, RP
Keith Foulke, RP
LaTroy Hawkins, B
Brian Meadows, RP
Kenny Lofton, OF
Preston Wilson, OF
Nomar Garciaparra, INF
Juan Pierre, OF
Jose Guillen, OF
Shea Hillenbrand, 1B
Ryan Klesko, OF
Jeromy Burnitz, OF
Craig Biggio, OF
Craig Counsell, INF
Pedro Feliz, 3B
Jose Valentin, INF
Mark Mulder, SP
David Wells, SP
Orlando Hernandez, SP
Jeff Weaver, SP
Jason Marquis, SP
Chan Ho Park, SP
Tomo Ohka, SP
Ramon Ortiz, SP
Eric Milton, SP
Kent Mercker, RP
Arthur Rhodes, RP
Scott Schoeneweis, RP
Rick Helling, RP
Miguel Batista, RP
Alan Embree, RP
Mike Stanton, RP
Darren Oliver, RP
Jose Mesa, RP
Guillermo Mota, RP

"So if you think Hicks was an idiot for making THAT deal, how can you justify this deal"

I was talking about that the Cubs will not be able to sign anyone else point you made.

After Hicks signed ARod, he didn't get any pitching(hopefully history doesn't repeat here) outside of overpaying Chan Ho Park.

The Rangers lost and fans stayed away, and Hicks said his hands were tied with Arods money so no pitching would be coming.

Wes-

I get your point -- my fear is that the pursuit of a "lefty bat" results in a crappy lefty bat (like Burnitz, Holly, etc.). If the focus is a "quality lefty bat", then, by all means, let's get one.

Though still a bit injury prone, I would love to have Trot Nixon in right for a cheap 2 year deal. He's a gamer, hits for power, and is a lefty bat that is used to playing in front of a packed house in pressure situations. Why hasn't his name been mentioned?

So do we have confirmation on whether it's an eight-year deal or a six-year deal with two option years?

I have yet to hear anything definitive Steve H.

Most of the stories today say 8/136 but they lack any real details to make me believe they've gotten any further info.

Anyone know how they determine who is a Type A/B FA? It seems odd that Frank Thomas is a Type B FA, but Joe Borowski is a Type A FA. Wasn't Big Frank in the MVP discussions this year?

Frank Thomas is an A alright a real big A.

oh yeah, the rankings are determined by the last 2 years and rely heavily on the Triple Crown stats. I don't know the exact formula, but Thomas missed most of 2005.

This whole JJ/Ginger/Eyre/Howry/Pie on the trading block thing makes me a little antsy in the pantsy.

Slick Jimmy has suddenly made me a bit nervous. We've got two LOOGY's and a crappy lefty closer in our bullpen. That's gotta be a sign something's coming.

Also, I called one of my buddies in the Rockies organization a little while ago about Jason Jennings. He said it would take at least Pie & Hill to do the deal. I don't think I want to do that.

If the Rockies actually do wanna move Jennings, then it'll take a lot less than Pie and Hill.

The Rockies want a CF and a big league ready lefty starter for Jennings. You tell me who that is then, O wise one.

I think JD Too's point was that no one is going to give up the equivalent of Hill & Pie for Jason Jennings. So if the Rockies really want to move Jennings, they need to be a bit more open minded.

That's what I was trying to say, Sweet Lou.
Sorry for not being more clear.

Buster the Great is hinting that the Cubs may be pursuing ManRam at 3/42 (with Boston picking up a small portion of the 42).

As old Harry would have pointed out, the law of averages... Olney will eventually be right about something.

Question is, would we want him? The price isn't bad for the production level. Lou might kill him for being a head case, though. Chemistry, chemistry, chemistry. It also doesn't solve any of the obvious voids (left-handed bat or starting pitching).

From what I gather, that ain't gonna happen. Dan O'Dowd has no problem keeping him unless they get what they want.

Note, that's not a repeat from his column of last week pre-Soriano... I just heard that on the radio second-hand, but reputable. Well, reputable that it came from Buster, anyway. :-)

AZ Phil,

Thanks! Your knowledge really does seem limitless at times...

So it seems the Cubs can sign 3 more free agents at this point...

re: lefty-righty
it's nice when your team makes a splash, but sometimes these teams do it just to say they can do it. (jp ricciardi signing big hurt). they're like rich kids who just have to buy the better toy not always because they need, but because they can.

soriano could be a great cub, but i still see a righty imbalance and maybe a 'scrap-iron' element. no to mention a pitching staff in shambles.
i'm not sure about signing derosa. for a lot less they could have gotten the same qualities (and possibly better defence) with craig counsell, giving them another lefty.
or. for that matter, sign counsell, then derosa for third and let aramis go, spending that money on pitching.

If the Cubs had taken in Craig Counsell, the crazy contortionist, I would've had to cancel my Extra Innings package next year. I can't stand to see that guy hit. Eww!

I would've been very unhappy if the cubs woulda gone with Counsell at 2nd and DeRosa at 3rd. I think there would've been tears.

"or. for that matter, sign counsell, then derosa for third and let aramis go, spending that money on pitching."

Too many insults. Just to many. I will just say, "ARE YOU NUTS!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"

Bubba Wrote: "...the Cubs are now a .530, 86-win team. Yay!..."

The Cards won the NLCS with only 83 wins so though I dig sarcasm I would have taken those 86 wins this year.

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